Guatemalan Ghost Stories:  Legends and Myths Illustrated in Stitches

Guatemalan Ghost Stories: Legends and Myths Illustrated in Stitches

Guatemalan culture is rich with legends and myths, passed from generation to generation, full of vivid images and imagination. Today we’re sharing some of our favorite spooky Guatemalan legends: as told by Multicolores artists, illustrated in stitches. Enjoy these Guatemalan ghost stories!

The Man with the Hatchet

“My grandparents always told us a story about a little man who walked the streets in the middle of the night. He carried a hatchet and would cut off the head of any person he happened upon in the dark streets.

When the people saw him, they would run away, shouting and screaming with fear. Yet every night he continued walking and hunting people.”

-Concepción Coó Quiejú

The Cats See Spirits

“It’s said that cats are capable of seeing spirits. When cats go out at night to prowl, meowing and yowling as they walk along the rooflines, they are warning spirits away. It’s said that if you keep a cat in your home, the spirits will not come close.”

-Maria Magdalena Tziná Vásquez



The Peach Seller in the Cemetery

“There was once a man, a wandering peach seller, who went down to the cemetery to sell his peaches. The people of the town told him to be careful: don’t speak to the dead, just give them the peaches and leave. But the dead were happy to see the man and buy his peaches, paying lots of money for the fresh fruit.

When night fell, the peach seller didn’t have anywhere to sleep. One of the dead offered him a place to stay, and he accepted. The dead told him: even if you hear or feel strange things during the night, don’t wake up— and whatever you do, don’t light a candle.

The man went to sleep, but was awakened by a strange feeling, like fleas biting him. He couldn’t stand it; he lit his candle. Before his eyes he saw many skeletons moving about. He was stricken with fear, and the very next day he died.”

-Concepción Yaj Sunú

The Queen Xk’ik and the Forbidden Fruit

“There was once a man named Junjunajpu who disappeared from his village. Only his head was found, hanging from the dry, naked branches of a dead tree. The tree then began to grow quickly, sprouting new leaves and bearing beautiful fruit. The people of the village forbade anyone from eating the fruit.

A young lady named Xk’ik heard the story of the beautiful, forbidden fruits growing on the cursed tree. She decided to go in search of the tree. When she came upon it, she was overcome by a desire to cut one of the fruits. A voice spoke to her from between the branches: “Do you desire me?” She answered honestly: “yes, I desire you.” Saliva fell from the tree into her outstretched palms and she became pregnant.”

-Maria Magdalena Tziná Vásquez

La Llorona

“There once was a beautiful woman with long hair who drowned her two young children in the river. To this day, she appears at night, crying and calling for her children. If you hear a strange cry at night, it may be that La Llorona is close by.”

-Maria Magdalena Tziná Vásquez

The story of La Llorona is told with different variations throughout Central America, and was adapted into a film by award-winning Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante.

Are any of these Guatemalan ghost stories familiar to you?

Browse all embroidered story cloths or all the artworks inspired by legends  in our online shop!

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